For Art’s Sake: Inside the Homes of Art Dealers invites you to exclusively visit the private homes of contemporary art dealers and reveals the intimate world of the great names that make up the art market today.
Passionate art lovers, talent scouts and, above all, discerning dealers, these art market experts buy and resell works of art to renowned collectors and institutions. But what do the intimate worlds of these elite dealers, who are at the heart of contemporary creation, look like? Find out in For Art’s Sake: Inside the Homes of Art Dealers, a beautiful book that gives access to the private homes of 24 major art dealers, photographed by Jean-François Jaussaud, accompanied by the words of Tiqui Atencio Demirdjian, a Venezuelan collector.
From New York to London, passing by Brussels, São Paulo and Los Angeles, this captivating book takes us to the homes of Dominique Lévy, Brett Gorvy, Almine Rech-Picasso, Barbara Gladstone, Kamel Mennour, Axel and May Vervoordt, among others. Each private residence has its own style, its own touch – some grandiose and some sober – each one truly unique. As a collector of modern and contemporary art, Tiqui Atencio Demirdjian is familiar with these remarkable residences where she has been invited several times. It was her desire to learn more about the artistic choices of art dealers and how they live with masterpieces in their private lives that inspired her to write the book: “I wanted to understand what it meant to spend one’s entire life surrounded by the best contemporary art, both at work and at home. And I wanted to know more about where their pleasures of collecting came from (…) I have seen for myself the myriad ways that they choose to live with art (…) Some of the dealers in the book see their houses as extensions of their professional worlds, while others view their homes as refuges from working life.”
It is interesting to see how each art dealer stages their own tastes and makes the pieces work in their personal environment. Some need to cut themselves off from their professional lives, such as the British art dealer Sean Kelly, based in New York, whose home on the Hudson River is “very much a refuge”: “If you’re a dealer, when you walk through an art fair, thousands of people are talking to you. You spend three days nonstop talking. This house is totally isolated. It’s very private. So the minute I can, I run away and come back up here. I will find any excuse to spend time here.”
On the other hand, the Frenchwoman Almine Rech-Picasso mixes her work with her personal space. Her villa in Brussels only displays works by artists that she herself would happily represent: “I represent only artists whom I would like to put in my home. It’s the first thing I think about when I visit a studio. I try to put myself into the position not of the dealer but of the collector and ask myself, ‘Would I live with that piece?’”
For other dealers, like Boris Vervoordt, art is very personal. In his house in Antwerp, which mixes Baroque and Japanese influences, the son of May and Axel Vervoordt explains that “The pieces in our house are all about memories of friendships and of moments together. Collecting is not about ownership or value but personal relationships.” A collection can also be a medium for other art dealers to express themselves, such as Xavier Hufkens and Pierre Marie Giraud, who recall their Brussels apartment: “As a collector, you cannot buy everything. You have to choose; you have to make decisions. So your collection speaks about yourself. And this house speaks very much about ourselves.”
While they all practice the same profession, these high-profile dealers all have a very different relationship with art and with their personal space. Jean-François Jaussaud’s subtle eye exposes the diverse perspectives, enriched by the texts of Tiqui Atencio Demirdjian, giving life to each of these places. Accompanied by a Latin foreword by the architect Peter Marino, these 384 pages will take you on a journey through a variety of universes and styles where you will be able to better perceive the personality of these great enthusiasts who make up the art market.
For Art’s Sake: Inside the Homes of Art Dealers
Foreword by Peter Marino
Published on October 6, 2020 by Rizzoli
Texts by Tiqui Atencio Demirdjian, photographs by Jean-François Jaussaud